Stephanie Drake Photography Blog
Hangout Fest 2014 Friday (Day 1), Gulf Shores AL

 

Link to full gallery of 150+ images here.

Armed with some fancy new rental gear (oh how I miss that 70-200 2.8 already… *sigh*), I hit the beach early Friday afternoon to begin covering the first full day of music at Hangout Fest 2014. There were quite a few acts early on the schedule I’d never heard of but proved to be among my favorites of the weekend. Los Colognes’ flower-loving guitarist kept me smiling with his perpetual movement, basically marching in place during the entire set. RAC (which stands for Remix Artist Collective) was a surprise to me — I can’t say I typically “get” electronica music, but blended with a live band their arrangements were quite enjoyable.

Los Colognes:

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RAC:

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I wish I’d had the opportunity to sit through RAC’s entire set but I wanted to check out some more music so I meandered over to where Bronze Radio Return had taken the stage and was in for another surprise. How these guys aren’t streaming on radio waves nationwide baffles me, but basically if you took Vampire Weekend and blended them with a folk/revivalist group you’d get pretty close to Bronze Radio Return’s sound. Add some crazy intense energy on stage and an abundance of happy vibes and it’s just really good stuff. John and Jacob was the first act I’d at least heard of going into the day since they’re Birmingham natives (as am I) and based solely on rumors I had high expectations of the duo. Well despite having an interview scheduled on the other side of the festival at the same time, I ended up staying for nearly their entire set and buying their album afterwards so yeah, I’d say they surpassed expectations.

Bronze Radio Return:

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John & Jacob:

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Dawes was my first big-stage shoot of the day (and of ever, actually), and I quickly realized just how much of a disadvantage my short stature is at those main stages. From about 90% of the vantage points in the pit I could see the lead singer from the waist up, and that was it. I didn’t even know the guy had a drummer until I walked out. There was a steep learning curve but by the end of the weekend I’d figured out how to work it to my advantage. Back on one of the smaller stages was Mobile, AL natives Underhill Family Orchestra who I’d photographed twice before including during their Reach for the Beach contest performance, their winning of which earned them their spot at Hangout Fest.

Dawes:

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Underhill Family Orchestra:

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The 1975 rocked the hell out of their set and brought some good old fashioned rock star debauchery to the festival with lead singer Matthew Healy’s penchant for performing bare-chested with a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other. I caught just a few minutes of Childish Gambino’s performance but enough to know that this guy is legit. The speed and intricacy of his freestyle is absolutely astounding. More pure talent could be found back on the main stage with blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr. who lived up to the frequent Stevie Ray Vaughn comparisons as he bent those strings to unconscionable levels.

The 1975:

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Childish Gambino:

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Gary Clark Jr.:

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Finally, the night was capped off by rock superstars The Black Keys and I got my first real pinch of surreality. I remember seeing them years and years ago when they opened on a Kings of Leon tour and thought wow these guys are going to be huge someday. Rubber Factory is one of my favorite albums of this millennium, and now I was photographing The Black Keys at one of the biggest festivals in the country. Damn. Cool day.

The Black Keys:

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One Response to Hangout Fest 2014 Friday (Day 1), Gulf Shores AL

  1. Pingback: Stephanie Drake Photography Blog » Archive » Hangout Fest 2014 Saturday (Day 2), Gulf Shores AL

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